Dezeen Magazine

The House of Viktor & Rolf at the Barbican

An exhibition of work by fashion designers Viktor & Rolf is on show at the Barbican Art Gallery in London.


The show includes a six-metre high dolls' house designed by Siebe Tettero, filled with 54 porcelain dolls wearing miniature versions of all the outfits on display in the gallery.


Throughout the exhibition outfits are displayed on life-size porcelain dolls.


The retrospective exhibition spans the last fifteen years of the Dutch designers' work and continues until 21 September.


Photographs by Lyndon Douglas, courtesy of Barbican Art Gallery.


The following information is from the Barbican Art Gallery:


This summer Barbican Art Gallery showcases the work of Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf. This is the first time in the United Kingdom that an exhibition has been devoted to this highly influential duo. Over the past 15 years Viktor & Rolf have taken the fashion world by storm with their particular blend of cool irony and surreal beauty.


The House of Viktor & Rolf presents each of the designer’s signature pieces from 1992 to now, shown in a specially commissioned and characteristically theatrical installation that dominates the entire Gallery.


Highlights include pieces from Atomic Bomb, 1998–99, featuring dramatic mushroom cloud-like cushioned necklines and Russian Doll, 1999–2000, in which a single model was painstakingly dressed by Viktor & Rolf until she was gasping under 70 kilogrammes of exquisite haute couture. For the collection Bells, 2000-2001, models emerged from a smoke-filled space in clothes embroidered with hundreds of brass bells, so they were heard before they could be seen.


Drawing on the Dutch tradition of silver plating a baby’s first shoe as a keepsake, the climax of Viktor & Rolf’s Autumn/Winter collection of 2006–07, was a strapless wedding dress with a wide petticoated knee length skirt, silver plated, including even the bride’s bouquet.


The House of Viktor & Rolf Shop
Be sure not to miss The House of Viktor & Rolf shop. As well as selling the book that accompanies the exhibition, a specially commissioned silk scarf by the designers, limited edition versions of their famous perfumes and exhibition postcards, Viktor & Rolf have also selected a unique range of designer objects, books and curiosities that have inspired them.


Fashion Late–Every Thursday until 10pm
Throughout the exhibition, Barbican Art Gallery is open every Thursday evening until 10pm. Join us for late night themed evenings with a BIG difference. Enjoy fashion fun and games, performances, discussions, master classes, workshops and Off the Peg talks by leading fashion commentators.


Meet a friend at The House of Viktor & Rolf bar where you can enjoy a specially mixed cocktail.


The first Thursday of every month offers that extra bit of interactive fashion excitement. Part of Time Out First Thursdays.


The House of Viktor & Rolf events programme is presented by Barbican Art Gallery in partnership with Premsela, Dutch Platform for Design and Fashion.


A 256 page hardback book, the most comprehensive on the work of Viktor & Rolf to date, including 400 fashion photographers, catwalk images and exclusive illustrations and polaroids, is available at a special exhibition price of £32.95 (RRP £35).

Text by Caroline Evans and Susannah Frankel. Designed by FUEL. Published by Merrell in association with Barbican Art Gallery.


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